SME Access to Finance - Technical Consultant

Location Name: 
New York, NY
Closing Date: 
Open until filled


COVID-19 is having a significant and detrimental impact on economies around the world. For markets to recover, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be at the core of any successful strategy as they not only make up more than 90% of firms in any market, they are responsible for driving up to 80%+ of job creation. Frontier/early-stage markets are being hit particularly hard, creating the potential for further instability. At the same time, these countries offer untapped and attractive investment and financing prospects. Payment terms of buyers make it difficult for SMEs to be competitive and implement contracts due to cash flow shortages, limiting their opportunities for growth and scale.

Both internal and external factors have prevented SMEs in frontier markets from attracting investment and capital. Local businesses face internal constraints including human resource development, market access, financial literacy, and management capacity. At the same time, commercial banks and investors, who are natural partners for SMEs, are contending with their own set of challenges. This includes a lack of information, financial products, resources to monitor SMEs, and strict regulator requirements. The required support systems and targeted technical assistance that would help bridge this gap is also largely absent from frontier markets.

Further, when capital is available, it is usually short-term and mismatched to business needs – such as 6-month debt for long term capex requirements, which creates refinancing risks. It can also be prohibitively expensive and collateralized.


Work Summary

With a large network of verified SMEs, detailed business profiles, deep on the ground experience, and business advisory capacity, Building Markets is uniquely positioned to enable deal flow by creating linkages between financiers and its network of local enterprises. This also has the potential to create sustainable revenue for the organization.

To advance this opportunity within its network of more than 2,000 Syrian small businesses, Building Markets is looking to retain an Access to Finance Technical Consultant. The Consultant will leverage Building Markets’ model, A2F experience and impact to date, and develop a 24-month roadmap for engagement with investors and banks and oversee its initial implementation.

Responsibilities and Deliverables

  • Design strategy that will increase capital flows to SMEs;
  • Identify opportunities for engagement with investors (VC, PE, merchant banks etc.) and other financial institutions (bank partners), starting with Turkey and the MENA region;
  • With BM teams, conduct landscape analysis to highlight existing and future investment needs and priority sectors;
  • Identify criteria investors/banks are looking for in SMEs (revise existing instruments) and develop and design tools that can be piloted in-country;
  • Develop fee-for-service and pricing strategies for pipeline development (e.g. referral, retainer, etc);
  • Create detailed work plan and timeline along with required resource inputs;
  • Develop forecast/model for revenue targets;
  • Deliver deck/Executive Summary providing overview of strategy.



  • Must have investment experience, preferably in frontier and/or emerging markets and facilitating capital to SMEs;
  • Private sector background and/or worked with a DFI;
  • Knowledge of the Turkey/MENA region a plus;
  • Direct experience with deal-flow, setting-up investment vehicles, a plus;
  • SalesForce experience a plus.


Reporting Lines

Reports to: CEO and works with Program Directors  

To Apply

No later than Friday, December 4, 2020 at 5pm (EST/NYC time), please submit the following to

  1. A price quotation (evaluation weighting: 40%);
  2. Cover letter and resume; the cover letter should be in the form of a very brief proposal, highlighting:
    • Knowledge of the Building Markets’ model/approach;
    • Direct investment experience;
    • Knowledge of SMEs;
    • Experience in developing and articulating fee-for-service models;
    • Communications skills and other qualification;
    • References (two).
      (evaluation weighting: 60%).

Those screened positively based on the above criteria may be contacted for further discussion, an interview and/or negotiation.

About Building Markets

Founded in 2004, Building Markets is an award-winning nonprofit that creates jobs and encourages economic growth in crisis-affected countries by connecting competitive local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply chains and investment. Through this approach, the organization has built a network of more than 25,000 verified SMEs, assisted them in winning over $1.3 billion in contracts, $21 million in loans, and helped create over 70,000 jobs in countries like Afghanistan, Haiti, Timor-Leste, and Liberia. Building Markets is headquartered in New York City and currently operates programs in Jordan, Myanmar and Turkey. In addition to the information on our website, please visit